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Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of by Sarah Franklin

By Sarah Franklin

Thirty-five years after its preliminary luck as a kind of technologically assisted human copy, and 5 million miracle infants later, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has turn into a regimen approach world wide. In organic kinfolk, Sarah Franklin explores how the normalization of IVF has replaced how either know-how and biology are understood. Drawing on anthropology, feminist idea, and technological know-how reports, Franklin charts the evolution of IVF from an experimental study process right into a worldwide technological platform used for a wide selection of functions, together with genetic prognosis, cattle breeding, cloning, and stem phone examine. She contends that regardless of its ubiquity, IVF is still a hugely paradoxical expertise that confirms the relative and contingent nature of biology whereas developing new organic kin. utilizing IVF as a lens, Franklin offers a daring and lucid thesis linking applied sciences of gender and intercourse to reproductive biomedicine, modern bioinnovation, and the way forward for kinship.

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Extra info for Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship (Experimental Futures)

Sample text

Marx’s emphasis on specialization and differentiation in the “organs” of machinery corresponds to his description of the Industrial Revolution as occurring in two primary phases. The pivot of this analysis is the relation between machine and human “organs,” and in the first instance between machine and hand. Thus in the first stage, there is a “conversion of movement”: the hand’s power, and even its grip, is assumed by the machine, much the way a handheld tool can be given a longer handle to gain greater leverage.

In the 1980s it produced a new generation of miracle babies and the embryo transfer industry in livestock, while in the 1990s it provided the basic platform for transgenesis, cell reprogramming, and the cloning of Dolly the sheep. In the twenty-­first century, ivf has provided the core techniques for the creation of savior siblings, admixed human chimeras, and new cellular tools, such as induced pluripotent stem cells. 1). Since its successful clinical translation in 1978, ivf has continued to undergo a rapid evolution as a technological platform, yielding newer mechanisms to facilitate human reproduction, such as aneuploidy screening, as well as new means of harnessing the regenerative properties of embryos, such as stem cell derivation.

Hence, for example, we might describe an automobile or the Internet as a technology, but be less likely to use this word to describe a newspaper, a child’s imaginative game, a song, or a dinner party. However, on second thought, we can see how all of these cultural forms are thoroughly technological—they depend on prior technicity, and Relatively Biological 27 we engage them through complex techniques that include not only know-­ how but understandings of who we are, what we can do, and how we want to live.

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